LETTERS: 11.2.17

Scary Meat Industry


I have no fear of goblins, witches, or evil clowns lurking on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.

This is the industry that deprives, mutilates, cages, and then butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, and chickens—animals that feel joy, affection, sadness, and pain, as we do, that  exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and that exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices.

This is the industry that contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove warnings from dietary guidelines.

This is the industry that sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals instead of people.

This is the industry that generates more water pollution than all other human activities, that spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, and that destroys more wildlife habitats than all other industries.

These are the things that keep me up at night.

Fortunately, my local supermarket offers a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruit and veggies. It gives me hope and courage for my future. But I still fear for my friends and neighbors.

Maxwell Branset, Montpelier


Skinny Bill


On the morning of July 27, 2017, I found myself sitting, as usual, with my foot elevated and wrapped in ice because I recently had my toe amputated.

It was early, maybe six thirty in the morning. I was watching television. It had become a daily vocation since my surgery on June 8, 2017.

The day began by paying a great deal of attention to the Republican Senate.  They had been in “reconciliation” for quite some time over the Obamacare Repeal Bill (reconciliation is a decision-making process in which they legislate by avoiding the normal process called “regular order,” which is bipartisan; Democrats and Republicans make efforts to compromise and reason out legislation).

Commonly I spent most of my day sitting, getting up for bathroom breaks, and return to sitting. I moved from news station to news station during the remainder of the day.

About 10 pm, they (the Republicans) broke out of this “reconciliation” and gave the Democrats and the remaining Republicans in the Senate about 80 minutes to read and digest what had now become Trump’s “Skinny Bill.”

After a dramatic late-night vote, 12 am to 1 am on July 28, 2017, three GOP votes denied passage (49-51) of a bill that did not represent the American people.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine all rebelled against the bill, with John McCain stating the repeal bill would not actually reform our healthcare system in any way.

This bill gave millions of dollars in the form of tax breaks to the richest one percent of Americans and “kicked” at least 16,000,000 Americans off Medicaid.  This was the Republican Healthcare plan that they had been working on for the past seven years.

After seeing this occur, I realized that the Republican Congress no longer represented the American people, but rather represented a “donor class, the ruling class.”

RCE, Worcester


Wish List for Barre Street


I thought Dot’s wish list a wonderful idea. My wish for Montpelier is yellow lines on the stretch of Barre Street that has none. They seem to be missing. Just some reference to the center of the street would be appreciated. I like to know how far I am in the other lane while I drive down Barre Street avoiding the mirrors on the parked cars. If the yellow lines can’t be regular width I’d be happy with a narrower version. Safe driving.

Russell Frank, Montpelier


What Do You Think?

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Deadline for the next issue is November 10

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